Synopses & Reviews
Inspired by a voracious curiosity about humans and other subjects, the poems in Heather Christle's What Is Amazing describe and invent worlds in an attempt to understand through participation. The book draws upon the wisdom of foolishness and the logic of glee, while simultaneously exploring the suffering inherent to embodied consciousness. Speakers play out moments of bravado and fear, love and mortality, disappointment and desire. They socialize incorrigibly with lakes, lovers, fire, and readers, reasoning their way to unreasonable conclusions. These poems try to understand how it is that we come to recognize and differentiate objects and beings, how wholly each is attached to its name, and which space reveals them. What Is Amazing delights in fully inhabiting its varied forms and voices, singing worlds that often coincide with our own.
"For her third full-length collection, Christle expands her formal palette while retaining the inquisitiveness and playfulness that have made her poems so intoxicating to her growing number of fans. The tight lineation and white-space experiments of her previous work remain, but here she uses shorter lines in poems that mix a sense of childlike naÃ¯vetÃ© with grown-up investigations of the troubles of romantic entanglement as well as more ephemeral topics and unfamiliar mental spaces: 'and your body is a long silk bag/ full of lightweight batteries/ arranged on the floor.' Yet Christle threads existential darkness and black humor throughout these poems, as in the title piece in which 'That man thinks he is a man/ but he is a candle.// Who will tell him?/ He will be destroyed// and his wife will be on fire./ Life is tough for that man especially.' Hip and almost self-consciously contemporary, but also alive to the often overwhelming excitements of the Internet age, Christle's new poems will beckon more readers her way." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.